The Sacramento Bee's Marjie Lundstrom has been recognized for her reporting in the series "Who Killed Amariana?"Lundstrom placed first in project reporting in the Best of the West journalism contest.The series explored the 2008 death of 4-1/2-year-old Ameriana Antoinette Crenshaw in a house fire and raised questions about how she wound up in harm's way, despite being surrounded by legal protectors from the county, state, juvenile court, her foster-family agency and foster mother."The Sacramento Bee should be commended for not letting this troubling story slip away," the judge wrote. "By pulling together records from 16 state agencies, the newspaper raised new questions about the death of a 5-year-old girl in foster care and how a system that should have protected her failed instead."Sacramento Bee reporter Peter Hecht received a second place award in explanatory reporting for his coverage of marijuana issues in California.The judges commended the "doggedness and breadth" of his work, saying that Hecht "dug into the issue from all sides, revealing new insight into an oft-reported issue."The Best of the West contest draws approximately 1,500 entries each year from newspapers, magazines and news websites in 14 western states.
Fifteen newspapers, including three from McClatchy, earned the designation of "Best Feature Section" in the annual Society for Features Journalism contest that honors the top five newspapers in three circulation divisions.The State in Columbia, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Kansas City Star were all honored in their respective categories under 90,000, 90,000-199,000, and 200,000 and up.The Best Feature Section category was judged based on a collection of sections representing the best publications have to offer in features, lifestyle, arts and entertainment. Entries included five sections from the 2010 calendar year a Sunday section, an arts & entertainment section, and regularly appearing feature sections and/or niche products.
Steven Thomma, the senior White House correspondent for McClatchy, has won the coveted 24th annual Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.The prize recognizes journalists "whose high standards for accuracy and substance help foster a better understanding of the presidency," said the announcement May 18 by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. It carries a $5,000 award.The judges issued the following statement along with the award:"In his reporting Steven Thomma demonstrates a clear understanding that, not the first year, but the second year in office for a new president is the more accurate measure of his leadership, his management of the complexities of federal executive offices, his exercise of constitutional powers, his way of communicating to the American people and his standing in the public mind."Thomma not only met the important criteria of timeliness, clarity of presentation, insight and conciseness, but he also made excellent use of expert sources to provide a layer of analysis that stood out among the competition. His writing is clear, based on solid facts and lightened with engaging inventiveness. In every respect, the judges found Thomma's reporting on the presidency in 2010 outstanding."Prize judges were led by James M. Cannon, former national affairs editor for Newsweek and former assistant to President Ford for domestic policy; Hal Bruno, retired political director of ABC News; John P. McConnell, former deputy assistant and speechwriter for President George W. Bush; Candice Nelson, an associate professor of government at American University; and Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University.Thomma has covered Washington since 1987. Previously, he won the National Press Club's award for best regional reporting in Washington in 1994, and the White House Correspondents' Association's Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for his reporting on the presidential campaign of 2000.
Carol Rosenberg, who has covered the injustices in the U.S. prison camps in Guantánamo Bay for The Miami Herald for nine years, has been awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, which recognizes outstanding reporting on human rights and social justice.Her "Guantánamo Bay" stories were among 11 other entries honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Other winners include broadcast journalist Dan Rather, actor James Gandolfini, and stories by the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio."Carols work represents the best of what journalism is about: doggedly pursuing a story despite difficult conditions and reluctant sources. She has become the authority on this international story," said Miami Herald Managing Editor Rick Hirsch.Rosenberg was repeatedly restricted and even punished by the Pentagon, which has tried to keep the conditions and treatment of prisoners out of public scrutiny. Last year, a Pentagon spokesman filed a baseless sexual harassment complaint against her in hopes that The Herald would pull her from the story, which the paper did not. She was banned from the base, but after threat of legal action, Pentagon authorities admitted they had gone too far and dropped the complaint.In 2010, she uncovered the first Red Cross photos of the detainees, disclosed how their living arrangements had changed and how hunger strikers among them were treated during Ramadan. Despite hostile conditions, shes produced a long string of exclusives and dispatches, including providing the worlds only live coverage of Canadian Omar Khadr's trial, tweeting developments as they happened. She continues to explore the legal ramifications of their incarceration."Our country's founders knew that secret courts can abuse their authority and saw a transparent judiciary and independent press as the way to ensure that justice was done," wrote Mark Seibel, chief of correspondents for the McClatchy Washington Bureau.A panel of 60 judges -- prominent media professionals selected the winning entries. The awards will be presented by Ethel Kennedy on May 18 in Washington, D.C. A Grand Prize winner will be chosen from among the winners."The winners this year reflect the interests of Robert Kennedy, particularly in justice and the plight of the downtrodden," said Margaret Engel, director of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports investigative journalists and photojournalists worldwide.Rosenberg has worked at The Miami Herald since 1990, starting as its Middle East correspondent, reporting from Baghdad. She was dispatched to Guantánamo in early January 2002, on the eve of the arrival of the captives.
Two News & Observer reporters won a national journalism award April 17 for their reporting about problems at North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation.Mandy Locke and Joseph Neff were presented with the Michael Kelly Award, presented by the Atlantic Media Co. to reporters who exhibit "the fearless pursuit and expression of truth." Kelly was the editor of National Journal and The Atlantic Monthly who died while covering the war in Iraq in 2003.The award carries a $25,000 prize.Locke and Neff researched and wrote a four-part series, "Agents' Secrets," in August. It revealed that some State Bureau of Investigation agents were bullying vulnerable suspects and that some lab analysts had pushed past the accepted bounds of science to deliver results that helped prosecutors' cases.Shortly after, an audit ordered by Attorney General Roy Cooper showed that the lab had withheld or distorted evidence in more than 200 cases.As a result, the SBI's director and lab director were replaced. The General Assembly has passed laws making it clear that the state crime lab works for the full justice system, not just prosecutors, and making it a crime for analysts or other law-enforcement agents to withhold evidence. One defendant who had served 12 years in jail has been freed, and others are challenging the SBI's work in courtLocke, 32, came to The News & Observer in 2004. She covered the case of Greg Taylor, a Wake County man who served 17 years for murder before being exonerated early in 2010. It was that case that led to the "Agents' Secrets" series.Neff, 51, is a veteran investigative reporter who has written extensively about criminal justice. He laid bare the prosecutorial misconduct of former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong in the Duke lacrosse case, and in 2008, he worked on a series about the state's crippled probation system.Others prominently involved in the series included videographer Travis Long, photojournalist Shawn Rocco and Steve Riley, senior editor for investigations.
Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald's Caribbean correspondent, was named April 19 as Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), the largest organization of journalists of color in the country.Working at times under extreme conditions, Charles' unrelenting reporting has been instrumental in focusing the worlds attention on Haiti, a country which has been devastated by floods and an earthquake that led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. She continues to cover the countrys political upheaval and its efforts to rebuild.In 2010, NABJ also honored Charles as International Reporter of the Year.Charles has spent the last 15 months living in Haiti as part of The Miami Herald's commitment to document the quake and its aftermath. While writing about the recovery and reconstruction, she has had to deal with a deadly cholera epidemic, a menacing hurricane and the political crisis that finally resulted in the election of a new president.Charles, who began her career at The Miami Herald as a high school intern in 1986, played a key role in The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald being named as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news this year."We couldnt be more proud of Jacquie Charles. Her work is remarkable -- in her knowledge of what she covers, the depth of her sourcing, and her passion for getting the story and getting it right," said Miami Herald Managing Editor Rick Hirsch. "Her excellent coverage of Haiti began long before the tragic earthquake of last year, and continues today."Calling her work "fearless," Deidre M. Childress, NABJs vice president for print journalism said: "Her work is an inspiration for reporters who want to bring the cultural history of the African Diaspora into the realm of greater understanding of people of color."Charles also was praised for her exhaustive work as a mentor for future journalists, having served on scholarship committees and recruiting chapter members and colleagues to help with the annual summer journalism program for high school students at The University of Miami.She also was associate producer of "Nou Bouke," a Miami Herald documentary on Haiti a year after the earthquake. The documentary was shown in more than 50 PBS markets in the United States.She will be among other top award winners at NABJ's Salute to Excellence Gala in Philadelphia in August."It's a recognition of not just my work and commitment to this story, but also of the Haitian people who suffered one of the world's worst disasters last year, Charles said. "It says that their plight has not totally been forgotten by the American media."NABJ is an advocacy group established in 1975 to provide educational, career development and support for black journalists around the world.
The South Carolina Press Association named two staff members at The Sun News in Myrtle Beach the best at their crafts in the state at the recent awards banquet.David Wren was named Journalist of the Year based on his body of work in 2010. His coverage of the role fraud has played in the area's real estate meltdown really began years ago with an investigation into falsified loans in the region's manufactured housing market.In the Reporting-In-Depth category he won first place for his coverage of the real estate meltdown, an article the judges labeled a "good, thorough investigation."His investigation of the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety Department earned a second place award in the same category. That probe really began when he looked into the department's role during the 2009 wildfire that destroyed 69 houses in that community. In 2010, his routine follow-up on a report that a department handgun was stolen from the locked glove box of the department's public safety director, discovered that his brand of truck wasn't equipped with a locking glove box.That led to the director's suspension, demotion and eventually his forced resignation. That coverage prompted a former officer in the department to come forward with secretly taped conversations that included intimidation and sexually offensive remarks by senior leaders in the department.The series of articles also earned Wren, and former editor Trisha O'Connor, a second place in the statewide Freedom of Information award. In that case, the judges said it was "yet another clear example of Wren's intrepid reporting, and (The) Sun News' editor Trisha O'Connor's commitment of newsroom resources to pursue its invaluable watchdog role."In naming him Journalist of the Year, the judges said: "Wren's work fulfills journalism's core mission: speak truth to power. His reporting reveals the intensity of his curiosity and the depth of his inquisitiveness. A remarkable body of work that rips away the veil on public and private corruption. Taxpayers and readers should thank him."Janet Blackmon Morgan was also praised by the judges who granted her the statewide Photojournalist of the Year award.They said: "Best overall portfolio in a very competitive division. Great eye. Your photos have great impact and tell a story. The body of work is varied and we were impressed with the overall quality and creativity of your work."Blackmon Morgan's 2010 work included five that captured first-place awards in the SCPA competition.One of those awards went to a package on Abbie Dorn, who has been involved in a court battle with her former husband for the right to see her triplets after a series of medical errors left her unable to move or communicate except by blinking. Blackmon Morgan also wrote the article in that package, which earned her first place in Lifestyle Feature Writing in a category that combined the 20,000-60,000 and 60,000 and over circulation newspapers.
A four-day series by the Centre Daily Times that examined the lack of affordable low-income rental housing in Centre County, Pa., has been selected by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition to receive its 2011 Media Award.The award will be presented at the coalitions annual policy conference in Washington, D.C. in late March.The coalition each year presents a Media Award to recognize print journalists who make an effort to inform the public about inequities in housing. Last year's winner was a series on homelesness published in the Dallas Morning News.The coalition, according to its website, "is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes."The Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa., began reporting on the series, titled "Priced Out," after the heads of several county and nonprofit organizations said the lack of affordable housing had reached crisis proportions.Reporters Anne Danahy, Chris Rosenblum, Ed Mahon and former reporters Sara Ganim and Lauren Boyer spent several months seeking out experts in housing, both in Centre County and across the state, and talking with dozens of people struggling to afford housing.To read the series, visit www.centredaily.com/affordable-housing.
The Washington Press Club Foundation named McClatchy correspondent Barbara Barrett Washington's top regional reporter Feb. 9, for a series of stories she wrote last year on North Carolina issues."I'm honored," said Barrett, 39, who's worked for the McClatchy Washington Bureau since 2006.Her winning stories featured Republican Rep. Sue Myrick and her efforts to work with the Muslim community, an African-American artist who painted a portrait of the late Republican former Sen. Jesse Helms, Republican Sen. Richard Burr bringing Senate committee work to a standstill last year during the debate on health care, and a textile mill in North Carolina and how it benefited from tariff exemptions that Congress approved."We're delighted with this news, both for what it says about Barb's excellent work and what it says about the importance of regional reporting from Washington," said Anders Gyllenhaal, who heads McClatchy's Washington Bureau.Barrett covers the North Carolina congressional delegation for The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C.Before she came to Washington, she was The News & Observer's roving state correspondent. She also covered urban development, higher education and a variety of hurricanes for the paper. Earlier in her career, she worked for the York, Pa., Daily Record, the St. Petersburg, Fla., Times and the Battle Creek, Mich., Enquirer.A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she's won other state and national awards for investigative, features and sports writing.In 2008, she won an award from the Associated Press Managing Editors for a series called "The Promise," which looked at a National Guardsman who was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.The Washington Press Club Foundation gave Barrett the award at its annual congressional dinner night.Called the David Lynch Regional Reporting Award, it's given annually to a reporter who covers the nation's capital for regional newspapers around the country.Past winners from McClatchy include: Rob Hotakainen, who covers Washington state for the bureau; Michael Doyle, who reports for McClatchy's California papers; and David Lightman, a congressional correspondent who won the award when he reported for the Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper in Connecticut.McClatchy's Washington bureau has 24 reporters who serve 30 newspapers from Florida to Alaska.
Three staff members of The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. -- Cindi Ross Scoppe, Sammy Fretwell and Ron Morris -- have been honored for outstanding journalism and professionalism.Associate editor Scoppe received the eighth annual Hovey-Harkness award from Governing magazine for "journalistic coverage of state and local government." The magazine cited her "insightful analysis and commentary" on South Carolina's state government in her editorials and columns on the editorial pages of The State newspaper and thestate.com. The award is named for the late Hal Hovey, a reporter and public official, and Peter Harkness, founding editor and publisher of the magazine.The magazine said: "Scoppe has been a dogged advocate for the restructuring of government in the state of South Carolina. Her ability to explain in clear language complex state policy issues has given her columns broad-based appeal. She has written with candor about the need to strengthen ethics in the South Carolina State House and is not afraid to point out certain inconvenient truths that are glossed over by the rhetoric of politicians."Scoppe was presented the award Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.The S.C. Sierra Club named Fretwell its 2010 Media Person of the Year. Fretwell has written about the environment for 16 years at The State. The Sierra Club's award, his third from the group, honors his coverage of conservation issues during the past year.Fretwell's body of work includes coverage of the most significant environmental issues facing the state, from nuclear waste disposal to water pollution and beach development. Recently, he chronicled the impact of a sewage disposal site that state regulators first approved, an then later said was polluting groundwater in a rural community of Lexington County.Fretwell was among six award winners honored Saturday by the club, including Former U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., and Susan Corbett, a state Sierra Club leader who has spoken nationally against nuclear waste disposal in South Carolina. The Sierra Club is a national environmental organization with more than 5,000 members in the S.C. chapter.The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association this month named State columnist Ron Morris as the South Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. It is the fifth time Morris has been honored by the group. The group also has named Phil Kornblut of the S.C. Radio Network as South Carolina Sportscaster of the Year. Kornblut's reporting and columns are featured on GoGamecocks.com and in The State and other S.C. newspapers.Morris and Kornblut will receive their awards in May, when the NSSA also will induct broadcasters Brent Musburger and Bob Uecker into its hall of fame.